Difference Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms (With Table)

The plant kingdom can be classified into 5 different types. Among them, Angiosperm and gymnosperm are to be mentioned.  Both Angiosperm and gymnosperm have very similar plant structures.

Angiosperms vs Gymnosperms 

The difference between angiosperm and gymnosperm in that the development of the seed is different. Angiosperm plants can bear flowers, whose seeds develop into fruits, but in the case of gymnosperms, there is no flower, and neither the seeds turn into fruits.

Angiosperms are flowering plants. It can be said that angiosperms are the most diverse in the plant kingdom. Angiosperms develop an endless variety of fruits and vegetables. Angiosperms do not require any special conditions to grow. There are found all around the world in the form of tall trees, shrubs,etc 

Gymnosperms are plants that are unable to bear flowers and fruits. They do not produce the seed enclosed in the ovary, and their seeds do not develop into fruits. The seeds are henceforth called naked seeds. Gymnosperms are typically vascular plants having two conducting tissues – xylem and phloem. 

Comparison Table Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

Parameters of ComparisonAngiospermsGymnosperms
DefinitionAngiosperms are flowering plants that produce seeds. They produce flowers that have seeds in them.Gymnosperms do not grow flowers or fruits to grow the seeds. The seeds grow naked on cones without any protection.
Source of the name/ TerminologyThe term comes from Greek work “  angeion (‘case’) and Sperma (‘seed’)The term Gymnosperm comes from the Greek, “γυμνόσπερμος”, meaning “naked seed”
Method of ReproductionAngiosperms are plants that reproduce unisexually or bisexually.Gymnosperm reproduces by a method called alternation of generations. They alternate between sexual and asexual phase.
Life cycleAngiosperm plants have generally annual or seasonal life- cycle and majorly consists of woody trees.Gymnosperm plants are majorly evergreen plants and have softwoods.
Leaves structureThey generally have flat leaves.They have needle-like leaves.

What are Angiosperm?

Angiosperms are flower-bearing plants that bear seeds in them. The seeds of Angiosperm are formed in the ovaries of the flower. So basically, The flower of the plant is the reproductive organ. The flowers contain a long slender stick-like figure called stamen which contains pollens. The Pollens of the plants are scattered by animals. Angiosperms produce fruits for consumption by living beings and provide all foods derived from plants.

Angiosperm can be easily be divided into 2 classes: 1)Monocotyledon and 2)dicotyledons.

Monocotyledon as the name suggests that there is only 1 seed leaves or embryonic leaves. There are generally 3 floral petals present on monocotyledons, and the arrangement of vascular bundles in the stem is scattered. They have parallel veins and usually, the leaves are long and narrow

Dicotyledon as the name suggests means that there exist two seed leaves which are also called embryonic leaves. A major characteristic of Dicotyledon is, there are generally 5 floral petals present in this class of plants, also The vascular bundles in the stem are arranged in concentric circles. Dicotyledon leaves have a network in veins with broad leaves.

What are Gymnosperms?

The plants that do not produce flowers but directly produce seeds are called gymnosperms. The seeds remain exposed and thus gymnosperm means naked seeds. The seeds are not produced within the ovary. The seeds are produced in a cone-shaped structure. Gymnosperm reproduces by altering the male and female cones, which is the reproductive organ of gymnosperms.

Gymnosperms can be divided into 4 different types – Coniferophyta, Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Gnetophyta.

Coniferophyta categories of plants mainly are woody trees like conifers, pine, fur. Most of the plants prefer a cold climate for survival and are evergreen trees.

The Cycadophyta category has either Male cones or female cones. They have large compound leaves that generally require a tropical climate for survival. However, these plants can also adapt to surviving in a swampy environment.

Ginkgophyta plants have fan-like tree leaves. Most of these plant species are extinct now. The tree provides treatment for asthma and other circulatory disorders. The plant is also known for its wonders on memory enhancement. The tree is deciduous and its height can be up to 20-30 meters.

Gnetophyta consists of shrubs, vines, and also trees. These are found in a tropical or temperate climate.

Main Differences Between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

  1. The main difference between angiosperms are gymnosperms is in the development of seeds. The seeds of Angiosperms grow enclosed within the flower where the seeds of gymnosperms grow in the cones without any encasement.
  2. Vessels are formed in angiosperms by xylem and in the case of gymnosperms, no vessels are formed by xylem.
  3. The process of dispersion of pollens is generally carried out by Animals in Angiosperms and incase of gymnosperms, the pollens are carried by natural elements like air and water.
  4. Angiosperms are typically seasonal plants or annual plants, whereas gymnosperms plants are evergreen trees.
  5. Gymnosperms can adapt to various kinds of temperatures and climates, but angiosperms cannot adapt to various temperatures.
  6. Angiosperms have trees with flat leaves and generally have hardwood trees, whereas gymnosperms have needle-like leaves with soft woody trees.
  7. Angiosperms provide plant-based foods and gymnosperms can produce lumber, paper, or medicinal plants.
  8. Some examples of angiosperms are orchids, eudicots, sunflowers. And examples of gymnosperms are pine, fir, conifers.

Conclusion

Angiosperms and gymnosperms are a major category of the plant kingdom. In the end, both of them bear seeds with a different procedure of bearing the seeds. Generally, angiosperms are more diverse in nature than gymnosperms. Angiosperms consist of about 80% of the plant kingdom. Both Angiosperms and Gymnosperms are vascular plants that can exceed a height of 100 meters. Angiosperms provide us with grains, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Major Gymnosperms like pine, fur provides lumber, besides that gymnosperms also provide us soaps, varnish, perfumes, medicines, et Cetra. Gymnosperms are presently more than 200 million years older than Angiosperms. However, gymnosperms have less variety of species and many of them have gone extinct. The quick extinction of gymnosperms can be because of the absence of any protective layer around the seeds.

References

  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/mineralogical-magazine/article/abs/weathering-of-soil-minerals-by-angiosperm-and-gymnosperm-trees/09F39A6D891946F86FE60A93270BE757
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mec.15281
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